@CASSUG_Albany March Monthly Meeting #SQLUserGroup #SQLFamily

Greetings, data enthusiasts!

Our next CASSUG monthly meeting is on Monday, March 9!

Our March speaker is our own Ken Schwartz! He will present his topic titled “Temporal Tables – what are they?”  For additional information and to RSVP, go to our Meetup event page at https://www.meetup.com/Capital-Area-SQL-Server-User-Group/events/267752251/

Additionally, Ed Pollack will present a lightning talk about SQL Notebooks!

Thanks to our sponsors, Datto, Capital Tech Search, and CommerceHub, for making this event possible!

Hope to see you there!

February CASSUG Monthly Meeting @CASSUG_Albany #SQLUserGroup #SQLFamily

Greetings, data enthusiasts!

Our next CASSUG monthly meeting is on Monday, February 10!

Our February speaker is Taiob Ali! He will present his topic titled “New features in Management Studio — Performance Troubleshooting made easier.” For additional information and to RSVP, go to our Meetup event page at https://www.meetup.com/Capital-Area-SQL-Server-User-Group/events/267111330/

Additionally, Greg Moore will present a lightning talk about PowerShell!

Thanks to our sponsors, Datto, Capital Tech Search, and CommerceHub, for making this event possible!

Hope to see you there!

When does a request for info become spam?

I recently saw a post in a Facebook group that I manage for a user group to which I belong. She was brand-new to the group, having joined just hours (maybe even minutes) before she posted.

She turned out to be a recruiter. I won’t say too much about her because her firm is one with which I have a very good relationship. That said, I’d never heard of her, which made me wonder how new she was.

It also made me question her motives for joining the group. It’s one thing if she joined to become an active member of the group or to network, with which I have no problem, but it’s quite another if her sole reason for joining is to post online job solicitations — something with which I take issue. Since she seems new, I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt. I sent her a PM, explained my relationship with her firm, and asked if I could assist.

It made me think: when do job solicitations become spam?

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about recruiter spam, and, of course, I’ve written extensively about networking. Those of you who are inundated with recruiter emails or postings know how downright aggravating it gets. Unless we’re actively looking for a new position, we have no time or patience for responding to the deluge of messages about which we couldn’t care less. And it’s only once in a great while where we come across one that looks interesting enough to look into it further. And for those of you who think these things are harmless, I once had a bad experience with a spam recruiter.

I do give leeway if the message is from a recruiter or firm that I know. As I’ve written before, it’s about relationships and trust. If a recruiter that I know asks me if I know someone with a certain set of skills, I would be happy to refer someone to him or her, and I’ll be more likely to take their job search requests more seriously. But if the recruiter is someone I don’t know who cold-calls me asking for a referral, what do you think the chances are that I would give one? In all likelihood, slim to none.

So in my mind, the difference between a referral and spam is the relationship. If the person who posted that request already had a preexisting relationship with our group, I’d be happy to see the post. But that she posted nearly immediately after joining the Facebook group has me questioning her motives. Establish yourself before you go looking for favors.

Postscript: As I was winding up this article, the recruiter to whom I sent the PM responded to me, and in doing so, dropped the name of someone I know. I now trust her a bit more, and I feel a little more comfortable with her posting.

Upcoming speaking engagements (as of 1/13/2020)

I have some confirmed speaking events coming up, so I figured this was a good time to update my speaking schedule.

I am confirmed for the following:

I also anticipate hearing soon as to whether or not I will be presenting in Chicago on March 21. Stay tuned!

Hope to see you at an event soon!

January CASSUG Monthly Meeting

Greetings, data enthusiasts!

Our next CASSUG monthly meeting is on Monday, January 13!

Our January speaker is Grant Fritchey! He will present his topic titled “10 Steps Towards Global Data Compliance.” For additional information and to RSVP, go to our Meetup event page at https://www.meetup.com/Capital-Area-SQL-Server-User-Group/events/267111279/

Additionally, I will present a lightning talk about my experience at my first PASS Summit!

Thanks to our sponsors, Datto, Capital Tech Search, and CommerceHub, for making this event possible!

Hope to see you there!

Want to learn something new? Get off your butt, and go get it!

A few weeks ago, Monica Rathbun wrote a ‘blog article about pursuing education or learning opportunities. It had been shared and retweeted a number of times by a number of people. I had meant to do the same, but it came out right around the same time that my father-in-law passed away, so the timing was inconvenient for me. After a few weeks of dealing with family issues, not to mention a week away at PASS Summit, my life has settled back into a state of semi-normalcy, so now I can go back to boring all of you with ‘blog articles and posting things I find interesting.

Additionally, Steve Jones came out with an article this morning about the benefits of conferences. Conferences are a great source of learning and networking. Some, such as SQL Saturday, are even free. If you ever have an opportunity to attend a conference or a seminar, I recommend it highly.

People, all too often, make excuses as to why they don’t learn anything new. Monica’s article lists out many of those excuses, and goes on to say why they are all invalid. She goes on to list resources you can use to further your education. It isn’t just about getting a degree or a certificate credential; it’s also about attending conferences and user groups, reading ‘blogs and articles, talking to people and networking, going to your local library, and getting involved with activities. Go read Monica’s article; it’s a great read.

I’ll make another suggestion: consider starting your own ‘blog. One of the best ways to learn about a topic is writing about it, even (and especially) if it’s a topic you don’t know. Writing about something you don’t know is a challenge, and it can sometimes be uncomfortable. But you won’t get anywhere unless you step out of your comfort zone.

Education is important, and we are always learning. Don’t use lack of money or lack of time as an excuse not to learn. There are many learning resources out there that you can do on your own time and require little or no money. If you’re seriously interested in learning about some topic, take the initiative and go get it. Otherwise, you run the risk of remaining in the same routine rut for the rest of your life.

Upcoming speaking engagements (as of 11/19/2019)

Now that PASS Summit is over, I am not scheduled to speak at any more events. Greg did ask me to do a lightning talk about my experience at PASS Summit at our next local user group meeting, but other than that, I’m pretty much finished for 2019.

This isn’t to say I haven’t submitted to anything for 2020. Here’s where I’ve submitted, as of today.

  • Chicago, March 21: If I’m picked to speak here, it would break new ground for me. Excluding PASS Summit, every SQL Saturday and user group meeting where I’ve spoken have all been within fairly reasonable driving distance from my home in Troy, NY. Chicago is not within reasonable driving distance for me. If I’m selected, my game plan would be to ride out on Amtrak on Thursday night into Friday morning, and return that Saturday night. We’ll see what happens!

I had originally submitted to Boston BI on March 28, but had to withdraw due to a conflict.

I’m also contemplating submitting to Virginia Beach on June 13. It’s a long way for me to drive. We’ll see!

I have other possible talks in the works, as well as save-the-date SQL Saturdays to which I intend to submit. They include:

As usual, I’ll update my schedule as dates come up. Stay tuned!